6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Contractor
When you’re ready to remodel, make sure you’re hiring the best contractor. Here are six key questions to ask.
1. Can you itemize your bid? Some contractors like to give one total price for the project. Always ask for an itemized bid with costs for all elements of the job-demolition, framing, plumbing, electrical, materials, and such. This helps with comparing bids and lets you see options for cutting costs. If you decide not to do part of the job, it shows how much you should be credited for eliminating that work.
2. Is your bid a fixed price or an estimate? With an estimate, the final bill can wind up higher, so always ask for a fixed price bid. If the contractor hesitates because there are too many unknowns, try to get the answers. Open a wall to check the structure, or ask for more detailed design plans. If unknowns persist, ask the contractor for project specs, describing what will be done. If more work is needed later, get a mini-bid for the new items.
3. How long have you been in business here? You should hire someone who’s been working in your town 5 to 10 years. They’ll have a local reputation to uphold, plus a good network of subcontractors and suppliers. Avoid hiring contractors from out of the area.
4. Can you include some of your earliest clients as references? This verifies that the contractor has been in business for a while and tells you how the work stands up.
5. Who are your suppliers? Get their names and call them. Ask what customers think of the contractor, how promptly they pay their bills, and if you should hire them.
6. Can I meet the job foreman? Some contractors aren’t there running the job every day. Find out who that will be and ask to meet them, ideally at a job site. This is the most important person on your team.
Orson B.Klender, Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Saratoga Springs
38 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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Cell: 1 (518) 588-2319 ~ Fax: 1(866) 588-6066